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Getting Down to Business

Run Your Business However you Damn Well Please…

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Ricky, as a small business owner with good OSHA safety inspections record, had to make a choice. Could he be an “everything” and please everyone? Or could he be a specialist and rock out what he does best? What he loves to serve? What he feels fits the style of his business? He drew a line and he stood his ground. I support him 110% on that choice. Matter of fact, it makes me a more loyal customer because I know exactly what I will get when I go there, his specialty, not something he felt was an inferior product. To help you on your business you can get a loan at cash loans.

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Also, he doesn’t have to dedicate part of his grill space to being meat free, purely vegan/vegetarian friendly. I’m assuming this last part, because I would think if I was a vegan/vegetarian I wouldn’t want my food cooked right next to that juicy beef burger.

It makes sense from a 50 cash loan financial perspective as a business owner.

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How does all of this relate to me? I’m a boudoir photographer that specializes in working with Moms. That is my superpower. If someone comes to me and asks me to photograph their 4 year old child, I’m probably going to say NO rather quickly. You can get your loans here at this weblink. That isn’t what I do. That isn’t where I work. I don’t feel that I could give them a quality product that they would be happy with. I also don’t shoot boudoir sessions with big studio lights and lot of backdrops. Again, not my thing. Others specialize in that – I don’t. (It is ok to be a generalist if that fits you best. But overall, specializing & working your strengths is where it is at for most people.)

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Does that mean I’ll lose customers if I say no to what I don’t want to do or I cant drive to their location because my car doesnt accommodate the photography gear that I need so of course I need a car that is big enough to carry my gear and finding the best car finance deals becomes paramount in this situation ? Of course. Big freakin’ deal! I can’t possibly cater to everyone. If I did, my work wouldn’t have the same power that it does. I wouldn’t have time to do what I’m most passionate about and what I’m best at doing. It is my choice as a business owner. Ricky had people say publicly on Twitter yesterday that he had lost them as customers forever because he wasn’t going to bend and change his product lineup.

Are you SERIOUS???

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If you choose to run your business however you damn well please, selling the products you want to sell, the customers you do have will love you for what you do. They will sing your praises far & wide and bring you even more customers. Plain & simple.

Some restaurants also use a invoice generator which makes sales traceable and easy to report. Most of them are the chain restaurants that you find in the suburbs in Houston that everyone seems happy to complain about (but still always have a 30-45 minute wait on a Saturday night). They are called out for being bland and just mediocre most of the time. Moving from the suburbs to the Heights makes this attitude even more obvious to me right now.

I just find the whole thing fascinating. We tear down the chain restaurants for trying to be everything to everyone, and now we’re attacking the small local businesses too for not being everything to everyone as well?

Know your strengths. Stand out. Don’t be bland. Don’t cater to everyone just to chase the dollar. Do what you love. Support your local businesses. And if they don’t sell what you want to buy, move on. It is all about the loooooooooove.

And if you want a veggie burger, go somewhere that sells them. Personally, I like some yummy sliders, so you’ll find me at the new Hubcap Grill in the Heights when it opens. I’m not a picky eater when it comes to those tasty morsels!

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

18 replies on “Run Your Business However you Damn Well Please…”

This situation reminded me of a story you can read in the book NUTS, which is the story of Southwest Airlines. Here’s the shortened version as retold online by Byron Hill (http://www.ccca.org/documents/insite/050610+hill.pdf):

Some customers are bad for business. I once heard the story of a woman who used to fly Southwest Airlines and every time she did, would write a complaint letter. It was obvious she didn’t like anything about Southwest, and finally the customer relations folks didn’t know what else to do. So they bumped her last letter up to Herb Kelleher, company founder and CEO. Within 60 seconds he fired back the following response: “Dear Mrs. Crabapple, We will miss you. Love, Herb.”

Herb understood this customer was not good for Southwest. If he tried to satisfy her, he would lose sight of all the positive attributes that make Southwest successful. He understood that sometimes you have to fire the customer. Don’t lose sleep over the customers you can’t please. Instead, cut them loose, and take great care of the guests who love what you do.

JR – I love a good medium rare burger. Heaven! Mmm…

Pam – we are *SO* there! I look forward to going when the Heights location opens – or we could always do lunch at the one in downtown!

Theresa – that is a great story! Thank you for sharing. So very true!

You are 100% right. I’m so tired of this entitled attitude that is so prevalent that the world must bend to everyone’s whim. If you don’t like what a business offers than choose another business. The world doesn’t revolve around you.

Laanba – from the perspective of a business owner, if you bend to everyone’s whim, you start to dilute your best offerings and become really bland. No one wants that…

It is a good rule of thumb in life in general too, now that I think about it.

Speaking as a vegetarian, I NEVER expect any restaurant to cater to me & my eating habits & I certainly never try to force my vegetarianism on other people. Eat whatever you want! I don’t care.

If someone recommends a place, I always try to look at their menu online (if available) to see if they offer veggie options. If they don’t, I don’t go. Plain & simple.

My problem yesterday was with the way Ricky handled the situation. He came off as a jerk, IMO & it just seemed to fuel the “meaties vs. veggies” wars, which was completely unnecessary.

Erin, good point. HOW a business owner handles a situation is really important. My view was that he came across as a jerk after getting attacking DMs and everything else, but as we all know the internet has no tone so it is sometimes hard to tell.

I did appreciate that he said today that vegans/vegetarians are welcome to bring veg food with them so that they can join their friends that want to eat there. YAY! And that is something worth asking other restaurants too.

I go to restaurants that don’t serve things I like, but I eat before or after, skipping over dining there. Not always convenient, but then I can go places that my friends want to visit. (Mike tends to appreciate this.)

IMHO, I think the mud-slinging started when the word “pretentious” was used against Ricky for his business choice.

At this point, I refer back to what Christine so eloquently wrote. Ricky runs a business. People can go elsewhere (and will). I don’t see what was “pretentious” about his menu – or lack of certain items. It made no sense and seemed to be unnecessarily stir a pot that did not need to be stirred.

Good post, BPC. Hubcap Grill is a burger joint that’s not grooving to the idea of non-meaty burgers. There are plenty of spots with great veggie burgers. Go there.

Living with a vegan and veggie kiddo, we’ve gotten flexible on our restaurant expectations. Larger kitchens are usually accommodating, but we never go in expecting that (although sometimes I will call ahead if I can’t find an updated menu online) and will avoid a BBQ or burger place if we can’t get any details on their non-meat options.

What’s cool now is the HUGE number of restaurants that cater to a variety of dietary lifestyles on their menu (nearly passed out eating at The Yard House last week with all of their faux meat options – they were AWESOME and I totally wasn’t expecting it).

It felt slimy to see folks belittle a small business owner for just doing what he does. BURGERS. I would’ve been defensive too… and now I’m craving sliders 🙂

UPDATE!!! After another round of conversation on Twitter, I should add that Ricky said that he will gladly allow vegans & vegetarians who want to join their friends eating there to bring in outside food since he doesn’t serve it.

Also, upon request, and I’m sure as the grill orders will allow, he does make a mushroom & swiss melt. Not on the menu, but if you like mushrooms, it sounds delicious!

(I don’t like mushrooms. Add that to my picky eater list. I’ll pick every last one off a pizza too. Even the smallest pieces. No fungi!)

If they don’t like it then they can go somewhere else. The power of the dollar makes the most important vote when it comes to running a business.

Very interesting article. I noticed long time ago that vegetarians try to enforce their eating habits to non-vegetarians and for me it is sometimes a little frustrating. Like ‘look at me I’m helping the animals and etc.’.

And regarding the business side for the vegetarians – it is simple: as long as there is demand there will always be supply. Nobody forces you to go and buy a big nice steak, go get a salad. Vegetarians, please stop thinking that you are better than everyone else just because you spare a cow.

Just my 2 cents 🙂

That’s awesome your from Houston. I got family in Cypress and I’m in Austin. I feel ya on the picky eating. Give me a nice steak, baked potato and some A1 and we’re good to go. I’m hard-pressed to try anything to out of the norm. Its just not me…

The restaurant needs to continue to server what they want to serve. Who’s to say that a menu change or addition of an item is cost effective for them to offer.

“The vegan/vegetarian crowd want to be heard. They don’t want to eat beef.” That’s fine they can be heard in their own channels in their own restaurants but what the hell gives them the right to think they have the right to demand someone else serve something specially for them.

Could you imagine me walking into a vegan restaurant and demanding a medium-well New York strip???? Then throw a fit when they refuse to serve it. LOL that’s a story you would never hear though. We won’t want to offend anyone…

“Sometimes, being politically correct just goes over the top!” THANKS!!

“politically correct” This term really pisses me off sometimes. Its used so loosely and in ways that have helped to destroy what this country once was. For some reason the this term tends to strike fear into people and allows them to give up rights they should stand up for. I just don’t understand it.

If it turned out to be cost effective and they could turn out a good vegan burger than great otherwise keep serving what’cha got

I mean are we getting to the point where every sub-sub-sub-sub genre of people need to have their feelings catered to lest they have their feelings bruised?

Political Correctness is slowing moving from necessary and empowering to humorous and pointless.

Tiotally agree. As a photographer, if clients approach and they want me to photograph in a style that I am not comfortable with, i would ask potential clients to look elsewehere. My style is modern contemporary, that is what I like to do, if you want posed groups shots, find someone else! If you want a veggie burger, find a vegetarian restaurant, they will probably be much nicer than a standard restaurant anyway!

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